Reversing Runaway Inequality: A Petition To
The American Political Establishment
Runaway inequality is tearing apart the fabric of our society and neither political party has addressed it effectively. In fact they have made it worse by catering to Wall Street and corporate elites.
We need a clear-cut agenda to reverse runaway inequality.
After meetings all over the country, with the input of thousands of concerned Americans from a variety of political views, we've put together a list of proposals that if enacted would bring more justice and fairness to our country.
This revised petition (February 7, 2018) lists a subset those proposals dealing with financial issues and banking. (We removed the political planks from the original petition because, rather than draw people together, they reinforced their issue silos.) We want to demonstrate to elected leaders, to those running for office and to those hoping to do so in the future, that these proposals have massive support from people all over the country. We want to demonstrate that these are mainstream ideas that should be enacted as soon as possible.
Now is the time for all of us to let the political establishment know that we want real justice and fairness in America. Join in the effort to reverse runaway inequality. We need you. We need each other.
The American Political Establishment
From: [Your Name]
Petition to Reverse Runaway Inequality
We the undersigned pledge to build an America in which prosperity is shared among all its people, not just the billionaire class and Wall Street. Toward that end, we pledge to work for the following agenda to reduce inequality and support candidates who pledge to do the same.
Public Banks: As an alternative to Wall Street's predatory lending, every state and large city should charter a public bank, modeled on the Bank of North Dakota, whose first and only goal is to serve its people. Also, like many other developed nations, the United States should adopt postal banking to provide fair and accessible financial services via the U.S. Postal Service.
Taxing Wall Street: To move money to Main Street, a sales tax (a small fraction of one percent) should be imposed on stocks, bonds, and derivatives trades, (often referred to as the Robin Hood Tax or a Financial Speculation Tax.) It would be practically invisible for nearly all of us, but would add up to significant amounts on the large Wall Street players. It also would discourage high frequency computer trades, which make up the majority of all stock market activity.
End Stock Manipulation: CEOs and their Wall Street partners should not be permitted to enrich themselves by using corporate funds to buy back their own shares in order to artificially raise share prices. This important protection was repealed in 1982 by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and should be reinstated.
Wealth Tax of One Percent on Those Whose Net Worth is More Than $10 Million: Those who have grown super-rich in our financialized economy often have ways to shelter income and avoid paying their fair share of taxes. A wealth tax, currently used by Spain, France, Switzerland and Norway, has proven an excellent way to ensure that we all contribute a fair amount.
Repeal the Hedge Fund tax loophole: Super wealthy hedge fund and private equity managers take advantage of a special loophole called "Carried Interest" which allows them to pretend their income is capital gains and therefore taxed at a much lower level. There is no reason in the world for the richest of the rich to avoid at least $10 billion a year in taxes. This should be eliminated immediately.